A Pennsylvania mother-of-two has been arrested after she allegedly left her children home alone for days in horrific conditions while she vacationed in Florida.
Nicole Sciortino, 30, was been charged with four counts of child endangerment. Vincent Licciardello, the children’s father, was also arrested and charged.
Police found the house in disarray, with pizza boxes, fast food wrappers, and clothes scattered across the floors. A basket with Sciortino’s medication was unsecured.
The temperature inside the Scranton home was 58 degrees and Sciortino’s 11-year-old son was wearing his winter coat indoors.
Nicole Sciortino, 30, and Vincent Licciardello, 30, were charged with child endangerment after police discovered their children, aged 10 and 11, had been left home alone for days
Authorities arrived at the home on March 7 after it was reported that two children had been left alone for weeks.
Police had Scirotino’s 10-year-old daughter call her on FaceTime with an iPad, and the mother first claimed to police that she wasn’t far away.
Sciortino eventually admitted she was in Florida and claimed a March 4 flight had been canceled due to weather in New York, according to The Scranton Times-Tribune.
But officers discovered that the children had been left alone for three days, and that Licciardello had dropped the boy and girl off at their mother’s house on March 5.
Sciortino claimed that the children were supposed to be staying with Licciardello, who lived about five miles away.
Licciardello told authorities that his car had broken down, but that he occasionally dropped off food for the children and checked in with them over the phone.
The father, who never stayed with his son and daughter in Sciortino’s house, also claimed that she did not like when their children slept at his apartment.
Police found the house Scranton, Pennsylvania (pictured) in disarray, with pizza boxes, fast food wrappers, and clothes scattered across the floors
The children told police they had been left alone overnight and that their mother would call in the mornings to wake them up for school.
They would get ready themselves and walk to a nearby bus stop. They would eat breakfast at school, if at all.
The 10-year-old also told police she had used the microwave to make them macaroni and cheese.
The boy told police that Sciortino had showed him how to fill the furnace with water just in case the heat shut off.
Officers later discovered that one of the children had missed 16 days of school this year, and another had missed 26 days.
They called the county’s Office of Youth and Family Services and the children are now staying with family friends, according to WNEP.
Sciortino told police that she was unaware it was against the law to leave children alone at home for long periods of time.
She also told them she ‘didn’t think it was really that bad’, according to the arrest report.
Sciortino and Licciardello were charged on Monday and released on $10,000 unsecured bail.
Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for March 27.